Local Jobs First

Victorian Government Local Jobs First Policy

As a response to developing needs and opportunities to enhance more optimal local steel supply outcomes for Victorian Government major projects under the Local Jobs First Policy, the ASI working with the Local Jobs First Commissioner set up a Victorian steel manufacturers working group during first half 2021. 

The group has been meeting on a quarterly basis to discuss the outcomes of Local Jobs First Policy in relation to the participation of our local steel supply chain on major government projects.  The working group members include representatives from our steel producers, fabricators, the AWU and AMWU, the Local Jobs First Commissioner and representatives from DJPR.  During 2022 we identified the need for a number of enhancements needed in order to achieve the governments goals of expanding market opportunities for steel, jobs for local industry and encourage innovation and investment. 

This included amongst other things:

  • Greater transparency, forward notification and improved engagement re local steel packages required for major government projects
  • A ‘stage gate’ review process which explores further local supply capability opportunities, triggered when there is a risk of steel packages being placed offshore for LJF government projects
  • Greater transparency on the reporting of success
  • And, we continue to maintain that all projects must mandate the requirement for the use of Australian standards, AS4100 and AS/NZS5131, and ACRS certified steel.

Following steel manufacturers working group meetings with DJPR and the Local Jobs First Commissioner in recent months, during August 2022 the Victorian Government released Steel Policy Enhancements to Government Procurement to further bolster the Local Jobs First Policy, [refer to link for details].

Some of key changes to the policy aimed at addressing our industries concerns include:

  • All steel packages for strategic government projects, greater than $50m in value, must be published on ICN Gateway for full transparency and visibility
  • Before a builder / contractor places any steel packages for government projects offshore they must alert the appropriate government agencies which will trigger a pre-requisite review of local capability and capacity to supply the project – any local content changes for steel need to be adequately justified
  • There are further enhancements for steel engagement and sourcing plans.

Whilst not all of our requests for amendments to Vic Government procurement and Local Jobs First have been adopted in the steel policy enhancements, we maintain this is very much a step in the right direction in order to ramp up the effectiveness of this procurement policy. As an on-going need to monitor success and traction of the recently announced steel policy enhancements, the ASI will continue to work closely with the Victorian Government, our members, Unions, the Local Jobs First Commissioner and several Victorian committees with steel industry representation.   

If you have any enquiries, please email Michael Dawson, Victoria State Manager on michaeld@steel.org.au